Veterans History Project (U.S.)
On October 27, 2000, President William J. Clinton signed Public Law 106-380, a bill calling upon the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to collect and preserve oral histories by American Veterans. The law also includes the collection of diaries, photographs, maps, and other materials containing wartime and peacetime military materials. This ongoing process became known as the Veterans History Project.
In order to make the Veterans History Project a national program, the Library of Congress established the Official Partnerships program, enabling organizations on the local level to become official repositories for the Veterans History Project. In 2003, with the help of United States Congressman William L. Jenkins of Rogersville, Tennessee, East Tennessee State University, in conjunction with Unicoi County High School and Hancock County High School, became an official partner in the project. East Tennessee State University’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Services and Office of Rural and Community Health began to collect interviews from veterans in the Upper East Tennessee region. The Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University became the repository for these collected interviews.
The interviews collected by East Tennessee State University, Unicoi County High School, and Hancock County High School cover most of the military conflicts since 1941, including World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, Grenada, Libya, Lebanon, Desert Storm, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.